European Charter for Sustainable and Responsible Tourism – Public Consultation of Stakeholders
In the framework of the 2010 Commission Communication on tourism
COM(2010)352, the European Commission (EC) has announced the intention to propose a charter for sustainable and responsible tourism. The purpose of the Charter is to encourage sustainable and responsible tourism policies and actions across Europe, by providing a common reference point for all stakeholders in tourism. The Commission has elaborated the first draft of the text. The EC intention now is to consult public and private tourism stakeholders at a larger scale on the draft text of the Charter in order to collect their views and ideas on the text itself as well as on the best ways for its adoption, implementation and monitoring. The stakeholders consultation is open till 20 April 2012.
European Tourism Quality Label
The European Commission has recently discussed with stakeholders the possible options for the future implementation of the
European Tourism Quality (ETQ) Label. The future Label aims to increase consumer security and confidence in tourism products and reward efforts by tourism professionals to guarantee quality of tourism service. Regarding the organizational framework of the ETQ Label, the majority of stakeholders was in favour of a Full European Coordination with the recognition of all types of quality systems (national, sub-national, regional, private, transnational). Concerning the legal instrument to be adopted to establish the Label, the EC proposed a Regulation but stakeholders expressed their concerns on its flexibility and effectiveness. The adoption of the Label by the College is foreseen by the end of 2012.
Tourism to boost European economy in 2012
Eurobarometer has published a survey on the attitudes of Europeans towards tourism. The results show that 72% of EU citizens travelled in 2011, and more than 80% said that they would do so in 2012, choosing to go either on short trips or longer holidays. In 2011 more citizens chose to stay in Europe for their holidays and many more have said they will do so in 2012. The survey allows both the Commission and its stakeholders to react to changes in tourism demand, and is an important instrument for tourism policy-making as well as for tourism industry planning, in particular as regards the types of tourism and the main tourism destinations.
Tourism in the marine environment
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has published the report “Green Economy in a Blue World”. The publication analyzes how key sectors that are interlinked with the marine and coastal environment – the blue world – can make the transition towards a Green Economy. The report includes a section on the impact and the opportunities of coastal tourism in terms of local development and poverty alleviation. The publication highlights that tourism relying on clean beaches, safe water and abundant marine wildlife provides many ocean communities with jobs, income and foreign exchange.
Establishment of the Global National Tourism Organisations Think Thank
In the framework of the ITB Travel Trade Show in Berlin, UNWTO and the European Travel Commission (ETC) signed an agreement to enhance their cooperation in addressing major issues in the tourism sector. One of the major initiatives under the new agreement is the establishment of the Global National Tourism Organizations (NTOs) Think Tank. The Think Tank will provide a forum for the heads of national tourism bodies from all world regions to identify and collaborate on issues of shared interest, from changing market conditions and trends to new technologies and consumer rights. It will further allow NTOs to speak with one voice on issues of common concern, namely travel facilitation.